01 September 2021
Nisos Ikaria, Marathos, Lipsi and Leros
The decision has been made, and worse of all, it has been made for us. We have to do this . We have no choice. We don't want to but the world and its leaders have gone completely insane and have totally , absolutely, lost the plot. I'm not going to rant any more. You all know how I feel.
So , in order to get back to the UK in November, we must be vaccinated and we have to jump through many hoops here in Greece to achieve it .
First we have to apply for a temporary AMKA number. This is the Greek equivalent of a Social Services number and is required before we can be vaccinated. Once the application was made , we were informed that we should expect an email giving us a number to call to arrange an appointment. We waited and we waited, and eventually got so very fed up we decided to leave Ikaria but we would stay within an easy sailing distance should we need to return.
We left Agios Kirikos and headed for Nisos Marathos. We are very aware that we are repeating previous passages but this is what we need to do and we have also finally accepted that this season is going to be very short and we will be restricted on far we go exploring. There are also lockdown restrictions coming into force on September 13th until March 1st 2022 with a very strong possibility of a total lockdown at the end of September.
Here in Marathos, we met up with John, and his Island Packet “”Brown Bear". We first met him in Agios Kirikos marina, where he very kindly leant us a special tool to remove a stubborn fuel filter. A lovely man, single handing although his wife and daughter had recently been out for a 3 week holiday.
We like Marathos, it is exceptionally quiet at the moment with very few visitors. We picked up a mooring buoy and spent a couple of hours in the Pirate Taverna with John for a few beers. John left the next morning (we weren't expecting to see him again this season) and we stayed a further 2 nights before going the 5 miles across to Nisos Lipsi. Still no email.
Instead of going onto the quay we anchored off the beach around the corner which was much quieter. Quaysides are ok for taking on water and supplies but they can be noisy and passers by just love to stop and stare into your cockpit – makes you feel like a caged animal in a zoo!!!! Tucked up in the corner was John who came across to say hello, as did Fergus who we first met 3 years ago when we arrived on our very first Greek island Orthoni. We met again last year in Marathos where he informed us that his wife Ali had passed away, smack bang in the middle of lockdown, he could not visit her in hospital nor attend her funeral. Cruelty at its worst.
We hung around for a few days and then set off for Nisos Leros. Still no email.
On Leros we anchored in the big bay of Lakkion a short distance from both John (who again surprised us with his presence - we thought he was going into the marina) and the lovely town of Lakki.
John invited us to join him and two of his New Zealand friends, Peter and Jennene, for sundowners at the Lime Beach Bar. We went down the bay to the beach in the dinghy, the others had hired scooters.
Jennene said it may be worth trying to get the vaccine here, (still no email) whereupon John suggested that we chat to his friendly Pharmacist. So next morning we met up with John and he introduced us to the Pharmacist and his lovely daughter.
To cut a long-winded story short, they contacted the hospital (which was next door) and they said we could get the Jansen (our preferred choice) jab there. All we needed to do was text the hospital with our AMKA number , name and phone number and they would contact us with an appointment time. That was Wednesday 25th August. We are still waiting.
So we're still at anchor in the bay, watching the huge ferry boats coming in with sadly very few passengers, and still no email.
Muse for this post: We’re going to be really pissed if we get our shit together and the world ends !!!!!